Friday, 2 October 2009

Honduran police evict Zelaya supporters in crackdown

By Esteban Israel

Honduran police on Wednesday began evicting supporters of toppled President Manuel Zelaya from government office buildings where they had holed up for three months to protest his ouster in a military coup.

Zelaya, who riled conservative lawmakers and business leaders with his ties to Venezuela's socialist government, was overthrown by the army in June. He sneaked back into the country and took refuge in the Brazilian Embassy a week ago.

The crackdown came after de facto leader, Roberto Micheletti, issued a decree suspending civil liberties, shut two media stations loyal to Zelaya and warned Brazil it had 10 days to hand over Zelaya to authorities or give him political asylum.

Riot police surrounded the National Agrarian Institute in Tegucigalpa early on Wednesday and cleared out 57 Zelaya supporters from the two-story building, where farm workers had protested since the June military coup.

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